Watford moved within a point of the Premier League’s top four with a fourth win in a row as Liverpool became the latest team to lose to the in-form Hornets this afternoon.
Odion Ighalo scored twice and Nathan Ake added the other as Quique Sanchez Flores’s men won back-to-back home games in the Premier League for the first time.
It took just over two minutes for Watford to take the lead and it was a horror show from Liverpool keeper Adam Bogdan, who was making his Reds Premier League debut in place of the injured Simon Mignolet.
The Hungarian failed to grasp an inswinging corner in the six-yard box, fumbling the ball and allowing Nathan Ake to poke home.
Replays show that Bogdan did manage to get two hands back on the ball, but it was only for a split-second and Ake knocked it out easily.
Coutinho warmed the palms of Heurelho Gomes at the other end, but Watford were soon two to the good as the league’s deadliest strike partnership combined once more.
Troy Deeney lifted the ball over the top for Ighalo and the Nigerian, after holding off the challenge of Martin Skrtel, found the bottom corner with a pinpoint finish for his 27th league goal in 2015.
Bogdan’s confidence was seemingly shot from his earlier error and his hesitant punch almost gifted the hosts another goal as Ighalo just failed to stab home after the ball had ricocheted his way.
Shortly before half time Watford went close directly from a corner, but this time Bogdan was alert and clawed Ben Watson’s corner away just before it crossed the line. Liverpool came out fighting at the start of the second period, but they failed to make their pressure pay as Adam Lallana, Alberto Moreno and Divock Origi all failed to beat Gomes.
Bogdan and Gomes made further saves to deny Ighalo and Jordan Henderson before Watford’s top scorer put the icing on the cake late on. Ighalo was left unmarked and played onside by Mamadou Sakho for a simple header from Valon Behrami’s cross, his 12th Premier League goal.
Despite the win, Watford remain seventh, but they are now only a point behind Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Crystal Palace above them. Liverpool sit ninth, five points behind the European spots.